Northumberland College-led project receives green skills funding boost

A Northumberland College-led initiative has secured significant government funding to reshape technical skills training in the low carbon energy generation and electric and hybrid vehicle sectors.

The group, which includes colleges and local training providers from the North of Tyne Combined Authority area, has been awarded £2.4m from the Department for Education’s (DfE) Strategic Development Fund to meet the needs of the employers in green power and green transport.

The project, led by Northumberland College (part of Education Partnership North East), will be delivered in partnership with Newcastle College, Tyne Coast College, SORA Group, 3t Energy Group and Energy Central. Other partners including industry and employer representative bodies such as North East England Chamber of Commerce, North East Automotive Alliance and Energi Coast will be integral to the project’s success.

As part of the successful bid, partners will create new courses in battery manufacture, vehicle electrification, micro renewables and offshore wind, to enhance an already outstanding engineering and manufacturing provision, as well as investing in specialist, technical equipment to support teaching, training and delivery.

Cutting-edge technology, such as a 3D digital enabled learning experiences, will be developed, immersing students in real world scenarios such as working on an offshore wind turbine and operating in a clean room environment located in a battery giga plant.

A STEM outreach programme for schools and local community organisations will also be established to raise awareness of the green energy and green transport sectors and showcase the many careers available in the sector.

Iain Nixon, Vice Principal of Partnerships and Commercial at Education Partnership North East, which includes Northumberland College, said: “The funding secured through the DfE’s Strategic Development Fund will help all the partners to co-design with industry new courses to help young people and adults develop the skills required by the area’s emerging green power and green transport sectors.

“For industry, the project will ensure they have access to highly skilled workers to support growth and drive improved productivity.”

Further communications from this innovative partnership will follow.

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